Crime Free Rental Nuisance Housing Program

In 2012, the South Chicago Heights Village Board passed a Crime Free-Rental Housing Nuisance Housing Program Ordinance. The program was first developed in Mesa, Arizona in 1992 to assist tenants, owners and managers of rental properties in keeping drugs and other criminal activity away from their rental properties. Since its inception, the program has been implemented in 2,000 cities in 44 U.S. states, five Canadian Provinces, Mexico, England, Finland, Japan, Russia, Malaysia, Nigeria, Afghanistan, and Puerto Rico.

The ordinance allows rental properties to use the Crime Free Lease Addendum and screen potential tenants for a history of illegal behavior.

The South Chicago Heights Police Department monitors the program for property owners or their agents. The ordinance explains the requirement to implement a crime-free lease addendum for tenants.

Once entered into the program, police and landlords/managers will assess the physical security and the general appearance of the rental property to help deter criminal activity.

Crime Free Rental Nuisance Housing Program FAQ

What is it?

The program is a partnership between the South Chicago Heights Police Department, Building Department, the owners and managers of this property, and the residents, to keep drugs and other illegal activity out of our community.

Are you saying this property is free of crime, meaning no crime will happen?

No. Crime knows no address. It can occur anywhere. What “crime free” means is that if you live here you will be expected to live a “crime free” lifestyle. You will be required to sign a “Crime Free Addendum” to your lease.

Does this mean there is a problem with crime at this property?

Actually, property managers join the program so they won’t have the crime problems. This community has also joined the program because we are committed to providing a safe community for our residents.

What do I have to do to join the Crime Free Rental Housing Nuisance Program?

The property manager and staff adopt the Crime Free Lease Addendum provided by the South Chicago Heights Police Department.

The property meets security requirements for resident’s safety.

How does this affect the landlord?

At the time of a rental application, the tenant will receive a copy of the Crime Free Lease Addendum that the tenant and the landlord are required to sign if the tenant wishes to live at said property. The police department will be conducting a background check and may deny the tenants application based on criminal history.

Benefits of an effective Crime Free Rental Housing Nuisance Program include:

  • A stable, more satisfied tenant base
  • Increased demand for rental units
  • Lower maintenance and repair costs
  • Increased property values
  • Improved personal safety for tenants, owners and managers
  • Peace of mind that comes when spending more time on routine management and less time on crisis control
  • Fewer requests for police service

For more information, contact Crime Prevention Officer Bob Tilton 708-755-3521 or email btilton@southchicagoheights.com.


Landlord's 5-Day Demand Notice

Landlord's 5-Day Terminate Notice

Landlord's 10-Day Terminate Notice

Landlord's 30-Day Terminate Notice

Rental Housing Nuisance Ordinance 2012-20

IL Municipal Code 735 ILCS 5-9-120

IL Municipal Code 625 ILCS 5-11-60-2

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